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This topic contains 1 reply, has 2 voices, and was last updated by  E. Vinje 4 weeks ago.

  • Is it OK to have pill bugs in your compost?

    Created by Dee Gustavson on

    I have several types of compost styles. I have so many rolly pollies in my tumbling above-ground compost bin and simple compost pile, as compared to my bins*, which mainly have worms. Is there something I can do to reduce the rolly pollies in my tumbler and pile?

    *My bins are about 3x3x3 and open on bottom.

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  • #297699 Reply

    E. Vinje
    Keymaster

    Hi Dee –

    A vast array of insects, arthropods, beetles, snails, slugs and worms inhabit cool compost piles. Most of these creatures cannot tolerate the high temperatures of a hot pile. As the pile heats up, they retreat to its edges or downwards into the soil beneath. As it cools, they move back in and start performing their functions.

    Pill bugs — also called roly polies — feed primarily on decaying plant matter and are important in the decomposition process. They prefer dark, damp locations and are common in most compost piles/ bins where they can break down organic materials very quickly. Roly polies help speed the compost process along and are often encouraged for this purpose.

    Note: These tiny crustaceans do not bite or sting and rarely damage living plants, providing there is enough decaying material for them to eat. However, if present in large numbers they may also feed on seedlings, new roots, lower leaves and fruits or vegetables laying directly on the soil. Learn how to control roly-poly bugs using proven, organic techniques here.

    Hope it helps!

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